The Conventional Limit

–from “Re-visioning psychology” by James Hillman.

The modern idea of ownership permeates into every thing that we think. This preoccupation with one’s “owned” ideas manifests world as some thing to be or to have as owned. Hence we have the eternal problem for the modern individual which shows up in one instance as rational subjective opinion in a world of argued relative opinions, and in another instance as mental illness. We might even begin to discern what mental health is by understanding how it seeks to commandeer the problematic modern individual which is — by the plain evidence of all the problem it vomits everywhere by simply being itself — ideologically and institutionally mentally ill, by placing it in a “positive spin”. For I think the most salient and pertinent issue of philosophy and not only psychology is: What exactly is mental health?

We tend to ignore this question as well as ignore the absurdity involved in the object of mental health by trying to reduce it to some physical state of brain or some organizational state of some “pure” mind, by trying to bring about various conceptual apparatuses, or simply talking about “ways” or practices that we can do to thus be mentally healthy by the doing of them. But none of these ever really tells us what mental health is except maybe a sort of stillborn fetus of modern science to poke and prod at.

And the people who are really suffering are the ones who mostly get to remain in a state of suffering overall.

Why do we continue to remain so myopic towards a problem which doesn’t seem to be responding very well to these narrow idealistic methods? 

But this is not really to make any sort of criticism against processes, interventions, and other efforts to help; for sure, we have to try.

 Here, we are taking on the interface or relationship between psychology, activity, and philosophy. 

The most pertinent philosophical discussion of modernity in this regard was made by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in their book “capitalism in schizophrenia”, but indeed their work is saturated with the attempt to come into a plural solution to the problem of the singular self. 

The issue, though, that we find permeating philosophy, or what I call conventional philosophy, can be viewed through the adjective pronoun “we”; for, what those philosophers pronounce in their philosophical works, in their psychoanalysis in one sense, is exactly “not” we, but indeed that group of people which is only able to understand humanity as a generalized and common, modern, “we”: Meaning, not the We that arises as world to form the contours of self, but indeed the modern We which is the presumed isolated self within a world of individual isolated selves “out there”, huddling in cold groups, and indeed only of beings associated with the category that we call human. The We doesn’t think of the We which involves rock formations, buildings and quarks. Anything that lives outside of this, what I call, religious and theological designation, we label and denote as ethically inferior and or in need of correction due to its epistemologically implicit error of cognition.

We might then ponder what indeed the idea of correction is manifesting around in this regard. What is this idealistic calcification attempting to protect?


I’ll stop there. 

An Example of Argument which is Erected Upon a False Choice.

Self-Care Puts Us on an Amusement Treadmill

Self-Care Puts Us on an Amusement Treadmill
— Read on

Benjamin Studebaker, the author of the blog of this re-post, doesn’t allow for comments on his blog. so I am regarding his argument here. (I love his blog, btw.)

Basically, my rebuttal is a rebuttal against his whole approach in viewing. An argument usually evidences a platform which is assumed extended into a common space to allow for a particular topic to be forged toward a certain discussion already taking place. The assumption of the common allows for segregate discussion to not encounter other discussions such that it never has to answer to questions that are outside its intension.

The Repost is an example; I understand what various authors such as Aristotle, or whomever, might be talking about, but I think that to bring such an analysis into our day is a little bit anachronistic if not often myopic. And so my rebuttal is really a description of an approach through which I am able to notice what is “Common”. It is a rebuttal to the common.

The Common is an assumption of a ubiquitous and Omnipresent field, what we could call in general “reality”, a philosophical argument (assertive presentation) from an assumption of a unitive and common experience of what the human being is.

And where the rebuttal really digs it’s claws in, is to say that by virtue of this rebuttal that I am making, by the ability to notice that I am not, as a human being, entirely contained in that which Studebaker assumes, I am there by not suggesting that I am not a part of reality, but more questioning his assumption that we are totally involved as human beings; which is to say that the category called “human being” is assumed in his argument, and that it is this assumption which is faulty; it erects the condition where false choices can appear substantial (not false not consequential).

Nevertheless; this left/right analysis of the idea of self-care appears itself as a ploy to keep people in the viscosity of the ideological machine.

There is indeed a bare fact of existence where there is no ideology that is imposing or oppressing in any way; it is a fact. No argument needs to be made about this true condition to dispel it and, in fact, no argument can be made without enacting a violence. The use or application of ‘self-care’ is involved with a truth that someone has innate and inherent emotional reactions at times which cause thinking to go in ways which are, shall we say, not comfortable. There is no requirement for an ideological oppression with self-care. The simple fact arises to awareness given certain conditions; ideology is merely one condition that can draw awareness.

So by virtue of this kind of noticing I can point to those people that would say that never is there a time where they feel that they are uncomfortable in such a way that they would have to apply a certain kind of self-care to their situation — those people are de facto part of the oppressive machine in which they argue pros and cons, left and right, at least in this circumstance. We can even go so far as to say one who has not has to deal directly with adversity cannot possibly know what they are talking about as to what self-care might address; they thereby cover their insecurity with assertion (of propriety over actuality). This is to suggest that they are not being honest with themselves and they are not able to view themselves into context of something that might not be correct about themselves. They view themselves and their intellectual capacity and indeed their position in the world as automatically correct, what I would say is sacrosanct, i.e. as a religious faith. They that can stand back not only from their existence being themselves, but also from the rest of the world to engage with it thereby through a proclamation of their ideological position reveal their position of assumed privilege.

The idea of self care, which can be argued to stem out of or through the state of  mindfulness, does not arise through some sort of intellectual contemplation of a persons’ state of being. Indeed it can, but then we have the condition we call “practicing mindfulness”; one of the things to keep in mind (lol) is that practicing mindfulness is not mindfulness. I believe that it is this misunderstanding that Benjamin Studebaker and others are addressing; it is the misunderstanding which is informing the address. They do not see the inconsistency and do not notice their mistake in viewing the world and what self-care might involve.

Mindfulness is a state of Being, a state of existing, just as ‘care’ is a certain kind of orientation upon that state. “Practicing mindfulness” (which can be said to be, on one hand, a type of self-care, and then on the other, the basis of self-care) is an ironic admitting that mindfulness has not been realized, and so self-care can be said (even if it is not recognized) to be the practice of the attempt to reach a particular state of Being which is not effectively oppressed. The illusory quality which might be understood of such awareness of Being thereby only arises in the compensation for the contradiction inherent of the theoretical assertion of common ubiquity. One cannot make someone else need or want self-care.


Such assertion of propriety evidences that the required break with ideology has not occurred to thus be able to understand what self-care is addressing.  Studebaker  brings in Aristotle’s idea of slavery because indeed that is (likely) the self-reflection that he is coming upon in the meaning of self-care. Which is to say, echoing Paulo Freire, he is inextricably involved with the game of oppression, i.e. a slave to the system. He (and others) thereby argues the ubiquitous substance of the game of oppression through the idea of a priori synthetical reason as he is oppressed by the system itself, the reasonable self-containment which must then assert itself onto an unreachable real world in order to posit a real freedom. This system he can see no way out of except to use this a priori pure reason, which verifies Freire’s thesis that the oppressor also is caught in the game of oppression. This is the irony of Kantian Pure Reason.

Such congregants cannot see the way out and so use the forces of ideology in order to explain how someone can get out theoretically, which then merely confirms the irony of the modern colonial state, and consolidates the ideological power itself. The freedom that is so argued through the theory is empty and hollow because the orientation upon what is real is not able to make the necessary break.


Yet I would also add that through this argument or description I am not thereby invalidating the existence of those so oriented by the confinement embodied by the theory. Nor am I saying that I am exempt from it. Rather I am granting that the object of such theory indeed operates as a real mechanism. However, also, it is this kind of absurd discussion which is out of bounds according to the rules of ideology based theory, what I refer to as conventional method. We are not all slaves, but indeed we are caught in a technological empire where all sorts and types of Beings exist.